Archive | January 2015

Citizen Police Academy – Week 1

Carol Stream CPA3

Last night I started up my next session of my Citizen Police Academy (CPA) classes. This time I’m in Carol Stream, the town that I live in. This is a long session – 11 weeks. Which is fine by me! This is the fifth CPA class I’ve now taken, in five different towns. I feel like I could teach the class at this point, I’m so familiar with police procedure! 🙂  But at the same time, towns do things differently, which is what makes these classes so interesting. And as an author who writes about men in uniform, the more information about law enforcement I can get is always a good thing. Plot bunnies can strike at any moment!

This is also a large class – 24 students. Only 4 of which are women. This is the most lopsided class I’ve been in. It’s normally closer to 50/50 men to women. So I’m going to have to step up my game to be noticed and taken seriously! Trust me, that won’t be a problem. 🙂

As with all of the classes I’ve taken, the first night is pretty basic, an overview of the entire police department, how it’s structured, etc. We had the Chief of Police as our first speaker who gave us some stats about the town – 40,000 residents. On average 5% are criminals. So we’ve got 2,000 of them running around my town. Kinda scary. Especially when there are only FIVE patrol officers per shift. The Chief also broke down the procedure for applying to be an officer. On average 300 people apply each year for 1-2 open spots. Your name remains on the list for 3 years. The academy (downstate in Springfield, IL) is 12 weeks in length. After which the rookie spends another 15 weeks riding with their Field Training Officer. The rookies are on probation for 24 months and always start on the night shift.

We have a total of 63 officers. I asked how many were women. We have 7 female officers. Two of which are corporals. They are also number 1 and 2 in line for promotion to sergeant. One of them will become the first female sergeant EVER in the village. Woot! Female power!

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FREE READ – An Endless Sea of Stars

Last in my series of FREE CHAPTER READS. Keep reading to get to know Cade and Toby…

Stars cover small


As promised, they arrived at the caves ten minutes later and the two men set about securing the boat and then getting into their dive gear, making sure to check that their primary and secondary dive lights attached to their helmets were in working order. Equipment check complete, they sat on the side of the boat.

“Okay, number one,” Toby began. “Stay close by me. Number two, be aware of your surroundings and remember as much as you can, because it’s going to be very different down there in the dark later. Number three…” he smiled. “Have fun.”

“Check and check,” Cade acknowledged Toby’s instructions. “And that last part won’t be a problem,” he smiled in return as both men put on their helmets and slipped over the side of the boat.

Toby led them just a short distance away from the Calypso, to the first cave, making sure Cade was sticking close beside him. Toby didn’t go deep, using the light from the setting sun shining down from the opening high above to guide them. He watched as Cade did as instructed, turning his head from side to side, taking in his surroundings, and also consulting his compass from time to time.

They swam for twenty minutes, through several interconnecting caves, watching as a new set of underwater creatures came to life as the sun went down. This time Toby indicated for them to ascend while still inside the cave. They broke the surface, treading water, their dive lights bouncing off the cavern walls.

“Well, what do you think?” Toby asked, removing his helmet, his voice echoing around them.

“Stunning,” Cade said simply, smiling widely. “Beautiful, Toby, just beautiful.”

“Knew you’d like it,” Toby replied, pleased. “Okay, let’s get back and enjoy the last of the sunset, take a break and then head back in,” he finished, then put his helmet back on and dropped back underwater, leading Cade out of the cave and back to the boat.

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Ask Me Anything – Master Post


Now that December is over, so is my Ask Me Anything meme, so I thought I’d make a Master Post of all of the questions that were sent my way, and my answers. Let’s play Twenty Questions and get to know me!
ASK ME ANYTHING – Day One –  Jayden Brooks  wants to know what my absolute favorite, cannot live without, program is.

That would be Photoshop, hands down. I’ve been a graphic designer and photographer for the last 20 years, so that software is pretty much my life. Both for work and for personal projects. Heck, without it I couldn’t create all of my ebook covers! 🙂

ASK ME ANYTHING – Day Two – Sue ChiTown  wants to know what my favorite part of my police class and was and what plot bunny did I walk away with?

Favorite part was the night on Forensics, for sure. Fascinating stuff. And my plot bunny came the night we were talking bout the SWAT team and the snipers. I suddenly had an idea where a sniper is given the go to take out the bad guy and just as he pulls the trigger an innocent person steps in the way and he kills them by accident. It pretty much destroys him and his life starts to fall apart from guilt and grief. In steps the police psychiatrist. He helps the sniper get himself back together and in the process they fall in love. Working title is Bullet to the Heart.

ASK ME ANYTHING – Day Three – Carly Rose wants to know if I lost my ability to express myself through words what form of expression would I choose and why?

As an artist, I’d have to choose either photography or glass making, both of which I do. There is so much freedom to create anything in either of those mediums to express any idea or thought I would have.

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